Lindsey Hilsum Plenary Speaker StudyWorld 2018

Leading international journalist announced as keynote speaker of StudyWorld 2018

We are delighted to announce that award-winning broadcaster and journalist Lindsey Hilsum will be the keynote speaker at StudyWorld in September.

Lindsey, who is the International Editor of Channel 4 News, is a well-known broadcaster in the UK, reporting from many of the world’s war zones and flashpoints during the past decades.

She was inspired to become a journalist during her international year of a Spanish and French degree at the University of Exeter. Instead of going to teach English in Spain for a year, which she thought might be “boring”, she volunteered for an international aid agency in Guatemala and Haiti. This, she says, “changed my life… I realised I wanted to spend the rest of my life finding out about ordinary people […]to travel and to write. And I’ve been lucky enough to do just that.”

English UK Conference Producer Tom Weatherley believes delegates at StudyWorld – the leading event selling the UK’s international education to the world – will be enthralled by Lindsey’s insight into global events, power and diplomacy.

He said: “I am absolutely ecstatic to have Lindsey at StudyWorld, and to give our delegates the chance to hear from one of the world’s leading international correspondents. I’m sure her keynote will be a fascinating look at the world, from someone who has spent their life getting near-unparalleled access to globally-defining events. This will be a real treat.”

Lindsey will speak to StudyWorld delegates at the QEII Centre on Tuesday 4 September and will also spend time in conversation with the British Council’s chief executive Sir Ciaran Devane, who holds a master’s degree in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University, Washington DC.

The keynote and seminar programme is open to every delegate at StudyWorld, no matter which package they have chosen: why not book now if you haven’t already done so?

In an interview with Stony Brook University on Long Island, where she held a writing fellowship in 2016, she described how her career began, working with an experienced BBC journalist, Mike Wooldridge, in Kenya. “I sat on the other side of our little office and I watched him on the telephone. I learned to be persistent but not aggressive, to keep going… When I went out with him in the field I learned being nice to people is going to get you more than being abrasive – unless politicians are lying in which case you have to push and push but always politely. You have to care about the people you are reporting on – it’s emotional as well as intellectual. It isn’t an exercise, it’s real life.”

She added that critical thinking and analysis learned at university helps people to pursue truth which is important because “an ignorant population is a population which will make bad decisions, and those decisions can affect a lot of people.” In the era of fake news and the proliferation of sources, she believes that news literacy is an important part of a general education and should be taught in schools and universities.

In the past few years, Lindsey has covered the early weeks of the Trump administration, conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, terror attacks in Europe and the journeys of refugees.

She has also reported the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in 2011 was an eyewitness to the Arab Spring uprisings in Libya, Egypt and Bahrain.

She has reported extensively from Iran and Zimbabwe, and was Channel 4 News China Correspondent from 2006 to 2008. She was embedded with a frontline marine unit during the 2004 US assault on Falluja, and in 1994 was the only English-speaking foreign correspondent in Rwanda when the genocide started.

She also writes for the UK press, and is the author of Sandstorm; Libya in the Time of Revolution. In November, her biography of the war correspondent Marie Colvin will be published on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lindsey has won several awards, including Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year, the Charles Wheeler Award and the James Cameron Award as well as recognition from the One World Broadcasting Trust, Amnesty International and BAFTA.

StudyWorld will be held at the QEII Centre in London from 3-5 September.

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